In Discussions, Investing, Minimalism, Money, Shop Quality Series, Shopping, Style, Style

Is investing in designer shoes a good idea? How to cut down on what you own (minimalism FTW)

“Sherry, I’m trying to cut down and become more minimal.

In the past couple of years, I’ve collected so many useless floral pretty dresses (I’ve counted over 70) and 80% of them are in my closet with the tags still attached! The problem is, I’m still lured towards pretty prints. I’m trying to cull my wardrobe to a reasonable size and have only pieces that I’ll wear.

Currently, I’m in the same dilemma many other women find themselves in, which is that they have an overflowing closet but nothing (practical) to wear.

Most of my clothes are summery and I live in Toronto where it’s chilly/cold most of the year. I do want to make a point that I love love love shoes. They’re my Kryptonite.

I currently want to collect some limited edition pieces from designers purely for their beauty and hopefully sell (flip) them later in the future. What are your opinions on this?”

I feel like there are a lot of questions here, so I’ll just answer what I think are questions.

In terms of minimalism, it is pretty hard to cut back. No joke, I have tried many times to Marie Kondo my closet and each time ends in me saying: BUT I LOVE THIS PIECE.

Yes or no, quick!

My best advice in this regard is to lay out all of your useless floral pretty dresses and close your eyes, take a deep breath, and pick up each one blindfolded, then open your eyes and in that split decision decide “Yes” or “No“.

This has made me be able to cull at least 25% of my wardrobe.

The trick is to then stick it all in a big plastic bag, and DO NOT OPEN THE BAG EVER AGAIN. You will re-look at the piece and think: But I can keep this! (No you can’t.)

I would then, drop them off (happily) at the local Goodwill or Salvation Army for someone else to love and be excited about finding.

Can’t I resell stuff?

You can also try and pretend to sell the dresses but if it isn’t at least a mid-range designer brand like Equipment or Theory, then I suggest you just close an eye and donate it.

Brands from H&M, Forever 21 and so on are already so cheap to begin with, that no one will pay anything worth your trouble when purchased secondhand.

Choose a limit per category

The other trick I use (to some success) is to limit myself to a number of things in each category.


So, blazers are kind of my Kryptonite (amongst others, but dang I love me a good blazer)… and I have so many now, in varying neutrals, and fabrics (beige linen, beige wool, light ivory shawl style, you get the idea), that I have decided that no more than 10 in the “blazer” category can be kept.

I had maybe 4 navy blazers before I came to this conclusion because I had a Ralph Lauren navy blazer with a crest on it ($7 at a thrift store!), and then a navy stretchy sort of jersey blazer, a navy pinstriped blazer, and a dark plain navy wool blazer. I ended up getting rid of two of them due to my blazer limitation.

This or that?

If I really, really want someting right now (oh let’s say they happen to be.. oh I don’t know….. Aquatalia knee-high shearling boots in Anthracite in the style Kiara, just as an example.. kay..), then I say to myself (before anything new enters my home): THIS, or THAT (Kiara boots)?

That usually squelches about 50% of my desire to buy new things. The other 50% is when I manage to convince myself that these boots are weather-proof and water-proof and SORELY NEEDED for winter, so I have to buy them.. and I end up buying two pairs — one in knee-high black leather on major sale from Aquatalia, and another pair from La Canadienne in a short moto brown suede boot style. *cough* But that’s another story for another day.

So are limited edition designer shoes a good investment?

Like that you can buy them, admire them in the box, display them, and then resell them if times get tough?

Well.

1. Style / Clothing as “investments” are generally not a good idea.

Unless it is a vintage 1920 Louis Vuitton traveling steamer trunk that is in perfect condition, and museum-quality, you are very unlikely to be able to resell these items at their retail value or higher.

2. Only certain brands tend to keep 80% of their value.

Note my 80%, not 100%. That means if you resell it, you are still losing 20%. The brands that keep their value the best are:

  • Chanel
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Hermès
  • Christian Louboutin
  • Cartier
  • David Yurman
  • Alaïa
  • Van Cleef & Arpels
  • Goyard

….and surprisingly…

  • Givenchy
  • Victoria Beckham
  • Charlotte Olympia
  • Alexander McQueen.

That’s it. That’s the entire list.

3. Are you just trying to justify buying these shoes?

If you are buying them as art, and willing to spend $1000 on a pair of shoes that sit on your shelf and make you smile every single morning you wake up, then do it. DO IT.

(Assuming of course you are not going into debt for this and can afford it, after having saved 20% in your retirement / savings accounts).

If you are buying them as a way to justify a shopping habit that they’ll resell later, they will hold their value and/or go up in time as true investments, then no.

Shoes also come in different sizes, so you may be buying size 7s, but someone who may really pay that price or higher, wear 5s.

What are you going to do?

They’re not going to buy size 7 shoes if they’re a 5! (Will they? I don’t know how shoe-a-holics work).

All of this is to say in conclusion: No. Don’t do it. Shoes are not investments. Invest your money in actual investments like in the stock market.

It is boring, it isn’t sexy, it isn’t pretty, but it WORKS.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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8 Comments

  1. Mia

    I hate, hate, hate when people talk about “investing” in clothes…there’s a reason why economists and financial professionals officially classify clothing, even designer clothing, as a “Consumer Good” like food, cosmetics, gasoline, etc.! Resale value is a fraction of the price, the value declines quickly even if you don’t use it, and it’s value declines even faster as you use it.

    Reply
    1. liteadventurer

      Glad someone else is as annoyed by this as I am. The word “invest” is thrown around way too much when the proper term should be “purchase”. I wonder sometimes if the advertising industry intentionally popularized this word years back to make people feel good about themselves when they make nonessential purchases that they can’t afford.

      Reply
      1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

        It is exactly that — to make you feel better for spending money if you are “investing” it.

        My “investment” in my car was a real one because I used it to make money.. more like a tool of an investment rather than an actual investment. If it doesn’t spit out $20 bills each morning, it is not an investment.

        Reply
    2. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      EXACTLY. Clothes are not an investment unless you can resell them for much more later. Like Coco Chanel’s original suit or something.

      Reply
  2. her every cent counts

    Geez – when I wear shoes, they get DESTROYED. I don’t know how to keep shoes in good condition. If I like them, I’m going to want to wear them. Designer shoes are def not a good investment unless somehow you keep your shoes in excellent condition while wearing them. It’s a lot easier to keep clothes in good condition over shoes.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I ruin my shoes from just using them but with my heels, I find I really need designer stuff or my feet hurt.

      Reply
      1. Susan Tan

        Designer brands at retail have over-inflated prices because you’re paying for the marketing, brand, the executives, rather than just cost of materials & labor. Bespoke leather shoes beat the quality of designer brands with their care & quality craftsmanship.

        Reply
        1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          That is what I told my partner!

          Reply

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